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Rebooting Medal Of Honor


May 4, 2010 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3
 

The Creative Team

This was described late last year as a reboot. It's been set in World War II since the start. Why was it the right time to "reboot" the series, and why did it take so long?

Greg Goodrich: I think that a lot of stories had been told in the World War II timeframe. When we set out to do this new game, we talked to some individuals, and their stories that we wanted to tell happened to be taking place in the modern day, and in this current fight in Afghanistan. It was sort of a natural progression for us. It sort of chose us.

From a production standpoint, there was some restructuring at EA LA. How did that change the way that you made this Medal of Honor game?

GG: This is Rich's and my first Medal of Honor. But right now, the game is stood-up, meaning the game is playable from beginning to end. We took broad brush strokes in the beginning on this so we could get the game up and running in its entirety, and see how it plays.

Now we're just turning the crank, we're in polish phase. We're just trying to get every bit of meaty goodness out between now and the ship date.

Rich Farrelly: The biggest difference is the team size. We aren't nearly as large as we've been in the past. It was in excess of 150 in the past. We're a lot smaller, more focused, and have more veterans on the team, so it makes building the product and standing it up a lot faster.

GG: We're not really in that crunch phase that you normally see at this point in a project. We've got kids, we're going home, we're having dinner with our kids at night, we have our weekends, and it's a pretty nice place we're in right now.

People are coming in and working hard, doing everything they can do... to [deliver] a game that's going to set a new course for this franchise, and hopefully put it back where it once was among the greatest shooters of the generation. That's our goal: to hit that quality level.

It's interesting that the team is smaller, but there's less crunch. Do you just attribute that to a more focused, more experienced team?

GG: I would say definitely it's focus, a clear creative vision, and quite frankly it's because we had a really good plan, and we're executing on it. Game development is about proper planning and great execution.

RF: It's also about making smart decisions during production, knowing what to really focus on and spend your money and time on, and knowing when to let some stuff go, and getting your team behind some solid, core game talent.

And the multiplayer component is being developed by DICE.

RF: We communicate regularly with those guys, we feedback regularly with them. We do vid-conference feedback, we play games with them multiplayer. There's definitely a synergy there about what the vision of Medal of Honor is.

Was DICE there from the very beginning of development of Medal of Honor?

GG: Not the very, very beginning, but once the location and universe and the story were set, and the types of things we wanted to do and tell and let the player experience, they came into and just started cranking. I think they started right after Battlefield 1943 came out. They bolstered their efforts [on Medal of Honor] as time went along.

There are a lot of military shooters under the EA umbrella, and who knows what Respawn will come up with. Are there any kinds of concerns of having to compete with other EA products?

GG: We actually talked about this a lot internally. Battlefield and Medal of Honor are two very different franchises. They have a certain tone, and we have a certain tone for our game. We think there's room for both, not only in the genre, but within EA. We deal in historical fiction, and Battlefield does something different. This is a game about a group of individuals, about the soldier.

There's a lot of stuff going on in the shooter market right now. What are your thoughts on the Infinity Ward fiasco, the Activision-Bungie deal, the founding of Respawn -- what are your views on the shooter market today?

GG: Bottom line is that we, and most of us in the building, we're shooter fans. So first and foremost, we love shooter games. And all those individuals you mentioned create phenomenal first-person shooters, and we wish them the best of luck, as consumers. We also have our heads down and we're building a game right now, and we've missed a lot of stuff going on. But we wish them the best of luck, and we can't wait to see what they come up with.


Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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